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Declutter Your Mind To Create A Stress-Free Environment Around You How often do you wake up and start thinking about the not-so-positive events that happened over the past week?

By Shelina Jokhiya

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How often do you wake up and start thinking about the not-so-positive events that happened over the past week? Maybe you wake up with old regrets and leftover guilt, mulling on negative emotions? The crush of your pending daily tasks (possibly even past due), long-term projects, reminders for your family, paying bills or even your business goals and aspirations, all of these can lead to a flood of wasted time and energy.

If such thoughts are cluttering your mind before you even get out of bed, how can you focus on being the best at what you do? Imagine if you were able to clear that clutter out of your mind's eye to create a stress-free, emotionally-calm environment around you. The results would be astounding. To enable you to start to clear your mind-space, here are some tips I have picked up over the years to relieve stress, increase my productivity, and make me more organized in my head:

1. START WITH A LIST Write down everything in your head as a to-do list, digital notebook or diary; whatever method works best for you. I use an electronic to-do list called TickTick which I can access on my computer and also on my phone at any time. I often write lists of items that are next on my to-do agenda, projects or maybe something for the future, and of course, my shopping list.

2. PROJECT MANAGE Create a to-do list for each project. There are steps you have to go to through to reach the end goal of the project, so set them out individually and conquer one task at a time. It's much better setting items out instead of keeping them in your head.

3. FOCUS ON ONE THING (ONLY) Stop multitasking. We end up wasting time skipping between different tasks. Do one thing well, finish it to your satisfaction, and then move onto the next task.

4. REVIEW AND REORDER Every week review your calendar, inbox and to-do list. I set aside time in my calendar each week to spend solely on reviewing my administrative life, filing documents in their folders, trashing items that need to trashed, and setting new reminders and re-prioritizing tasks at hand.

5. JOT DOWN IDEAS Put down any random thoughts into a notebook. I use Evernote, but you can also use the Microsoft version called OneNote, or even an old-school notebook.

6. TAKE IT DAY BY DAY Focus on important, essential items to complete each day. Don't have daily musts; they will only stress you out.

7. WORK OFF THAT STEAM Exercise. There are always articles about exercising and how it can help to increase the oxygen into your blood cells, which then goes to your brain and makes you more productive. I'm no advocate for physical activity, but I do find this to be true. I go for walks, even if it is around a mall, to clear my head.

8. TAKE A STEP BACK Calm down. If you don't finish it today, you can do it tomorrow. It will not be the end of the world.

Don't overcomplicate simplifying your life. Start with the first step and then the next step, and next, until gradually you'll get used to a new, decluttered methodology and later, you'll find it becomes habit.

Shelina Jokhiya

Managing Director, Decluttr Me

Shelina Jokhiya is the founder of UAE-based startup Decluttr Me. DeCluttr Me has recently become the first international accredited member of the Association of Professional Declutters and Organizers U.K. (APDO). 


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